Hokkaido Air System Co (HAC) has signed a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of two firm ATR 42-600s with an option for a third.

ATR, which disclosed the deal at the Farnborough air show, says JAL Group subsidiary HAC will begin operating the turboprops in 2020.

"The aircraft has extensive experience with operations in cold winter, which will increase the reliability of the operation in cold Hokkaido," states the Japanese regional carrier's president Yoichiro Kuwano.

ATR chief executive Christian Scherer argues that "JAL Group's endorsement is testimony to the relevance of our product in a most advanced society that is concerned with comfort, environmentally-friendliness and the benefits of regional connectivity".

The turboprops will replace HAC's fleet of Saab 340s, says ATR.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the carrier has three Saab 340s in service.

Source: Cirium Dashboard